Sky Bet owner reports strong start to 2021 boosted by lockdown

Gambling giant Flutter Entertainment, which owns Leeds-based Sky Bet, Paddy Power and Betfair, has reported a strong start to the year.

Gambling giant Flutter Entertainment owns Leeds-based Sky Bet, Paddy Power and Betfair

The firm said total revenue rose 33 per cent to £1.49bn in the first three months of 2021.

UK & Ireland digital revenues rose 35 per cent to £568m with sports revenue ahead by 33 per cent to £371m.

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Gaming revenue rose 41 per cent to £196m.

Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter Entertainment, said: “As restrictions begin to ease and retail reopens across a number of markets, we remain confident that our diversified business leaves us well placed to deliver sustainable growth going forward.”

Analyst Greg Johnson at Shore Capital said: "Digital undoubtedly benefited from the closure of retail in the period, although the year-on-year performance was said to be strong before and after mid-March, with average monthly players ahead by 23 per cent."

Flutter is the market leader in the US with an estimated 36 per cent share of the sports betting and 23 per cent share in iGaming.

Mr Johnson said: "April saw the reopening of retail betting in the UK, with Ireland expected during May.

"However, this is likely to be offset by the impact of the wider reopening of retail and leisure on its online offerings, notably poker which disproportionately benefited from a lack of sport in the second quarter last year.

"Momentum across the group remains strong, although comparatives do become tougher, and we believe that this is reflected in the valuation."